4 Great Workouts to Prepare You for the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and whether you need a workout that helps you maintain, prepare for a ski trip and continue making gains, we’ve got you covered.


When family is in town or your favorite gym is closed due to social distancing, it can be tough to keep up with your fitness routine. These moves will help you maintain your fitness level, without too much time so you don’t have to make up lost ground in the New Year. This workout shared by Craig Ballantyne in an article titled What Is The Best Workout To Maintain Strength Over The Holidays? will do the trick: You can do this routine in one day or divide it into three days depending on your schedule.

3 Day Split

Day 1: Back, Biceps & Posterior Shoulders (& Abs):

Wide-Grip Pull-ups – 4×10 reps

Chin-Ups – 4×10 reps

During your rest periods throw in mini sets of floor crunches (15-20 reps)

Day 2: Chest, Triceps & Anterior Shoulders:

Dumbbells/Barbell Bench Press – 4×10-12 reps

Dips – Chest Version, 2×10-12 reps

Dips – Triceps Version, 2×10-12 reps

Day 3: Legs:

Barbell Deadlifts – 3×12 reps

Barbell Full Squats – 3×15 reps (Adding a standing barbell calf lift at the end of each rep)

Romanian Deadlifts – 3×10 reps

print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 3.

1 Day Split: You can still get it in even when you are really time crunched

Barbell Full Squats – 4×10 reps with a standing calf raise on each rep

Barbell Bench Press – 3×10 reps

Dips, Triceps Version – 3×8-10 reps

Wide-Grip Pull-ups – 3×10 reps

Romanian Deadlifts – 3×10 reps

Do sets of floor crunches to work your abs between sets if you need more time to rest a specific muscle group.

Ballantyne advises using a weight just heavy enough that finishing the set is challenging.

Going Skiing or on your treadmill

If you’re going skiing or just a heavy workout on your treadmill at home, you want to be sure muscles such as quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes are ready for the challenge of the slopes. Men’s Fitness recommends this workout to help you get ready.

Romanian Deadlift

Suggested: 4 sets of 8

Grab an 80 lb dumbbell (you can increase the weight as you up the intensity). Bend your knees slightly, keeping your back straight, then lean forward with the barbell, hinging at the hips. Fire your glutes and hamstrings, bring your hips forward, and return to a standing position.

Single-leg Eccentric Leg Press

Suggested: 4 sets of 4 on each side

Load the leg press with about 60 to 70 percent of what you can lift with both legs. With one leg, lower the plate down for six seconds. When you’re at the bottom, push up with two feet.

Medicine Ball Pump Squat

Suggested: 3 sets of 1 minute each

Hug a heavy medicine ball (15–50 lbs) to your chest and lower into a squat position. Staying low, doing short pump squats (pulsing up and down about an inch or so) without coming back up to start. Your muscles should always be contracting. This exercise builds local muscular endurance in the lower back, glutes, and quads.

Squat Jump

Suggested: 4 sets of 4

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down so your thighs are parallel to the floor, then jump high in the air. Try to land softly on the balls of your feet.

Backwards Treadmill Walk

Suggested: 3 sets of 1 minute; build up to 3 sets of 3 minutes

Start walking very slowly on the treadmill at 2–3 miles per hour. Increase the incline as high as it goes. Very carefully, turn around so you’re facing backwards—your toes should be pointing toward the end of the belt like you’re walking backward uphill. As you walk, drop to a squat so that your knees are at nearly 90 degrees—similar to the tuck position of skiing. Make sure you hold on to the treadmill arms as you do this exercise. (And if the notion of going backwards on a treadmill seems crazy, just find a hill and walk backwards up that.


Extra sweets and treats don’t have to land on your waistline. Pick up a kettlebell and swing to burn mega calories. This convenient, at home exercise means no excuses. Aim for 20 minutes with rest breaks as needed and burn up to 20 calories per minute.

No Equipment? No Problem

This anywhere, anytime workout from military.com uses body weight to help you stay fit.

Repeat 5-10 times

Jumping jacks or jump rope – 1 minute

squats – 20

Lunges – 10/leg

Calf Raise / stretch – 20 / leg